Voluntary business initiative to clean up city streets kicks off

2011-03-30 00:00

PROUDLY Pietermaritzburg, the initiative to clean up the city founded by Guy Smith of Venn Nemeth and Hart last year, now has a logo, designed by Justin James Advertising.

A steering committee has been appointed, while a sub-committee is busy investigating the formation of a business improvement district (BID).

A BID is an area, such as a city block, in which businesses pay an extra levy to finance the area’s improvement. A BID system already works successfully in Cape Town.

“Our short-term objective is to try to clean up some of the streets in Pietermaritzburg,” says Smith. “Our long-term objective, once the BID districts have been set up, will be to work closely with the Msunduzi Municipality to help it get back to cleaning up the city and then to start marketing the city, looking for outside investment and generally improving the environment that we live in.”

It is hoped that the first BID district will be identified before the May municipal elections.

A group of people has already started working on the city streets with brush cutters and generally cleaning up.

“We have also been working with School Leaver Opportunity Training [Slot], which is an organisation that provides training and opportunities to school leavers.

“Slot has set up little teams that are working to try to clean up Pietermaritzburg,” says Smith. “Our main initiative, however, has been to try to encourage citizens and businesses to make monthly contributions for a period of 24 months so that we can continue working to achieve our objectives.”

• If you would like to make a contribution or find out more about Proudly Pietermaritzburg contact 033 355 3294. — Witness Reporter.

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